How the Israeli Left Has Undermined Faith in the Rule of Law

In the months leading up to Israel’s recent elections, the country’s attorney general announced that he would seek indictments against Benjamin Netanyahu on multiple charges of corruption. Nonetheless, Netanyahu’s Likud party gained seats in the Knesset, ensuring that he will retain the premiership. Evelyn Gordon points to a survey, conducted in February, that may explain why the corruption charges haven’t damaged Netanyahu at the ballot box:

Fully 65 percent of Likud voters and 75 percent of ḥaredi voters think law-enforcement agencies are simply trying to oust Netanyahu. On one level, this is shocking. But on another, it’s not shocking at all because the Israeli left has spent decades successfully subverting the concept of “the rule of law” for its own political benefit.

For instance, Israel’s Supreme Court repeatedly overturns government policies not because they violate any law but because the justices deem them “unreasonable.” . . . Moreover, in almost every Western democracy, the executive and legislative branches choose Supreme Court justices; only in Israel do sitting justices have veto power over the choice of their successors. Yet the left has branded every attempt to align Israel’s judicial appointments system with this Western norm as “contrary to the rule of law,” and has thereby successfully staved off change. . . .

[In addition], there’s the unequal application of laws, as epitomized by a pre-election [Supreme Court] ruling that disqualified a Jewish Knesset candidate but nixed the disqualification of an Arab party, Balad. . . .

So here’s how your average rightist voter understands the rule of law today: [as] a trick for ensuring that the left can continue imposing its views no matter how many elections it loses. That trick has successfully thwarted all legislative efforts at reform. But the price is that many rightists now distrust and despise “the rule of law” to such an extent that they dismiss pending indictments against a prime minister as just another attempt by the legal establishment to subvert democracy.

Read more at Evelyn Gordon

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli democracy, Israeli Election 2019, Supreme Court of Israel

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas